Russia rules out military solution of Karabakh conflict
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged the sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on Apr. 22 to continue peaceful talks against all odds as the conflict has no military solution, international news agency Sputnik reported.
"I understand it is hard to return to the negotiating table...But if we make just a tiny step forward in the political process... it would help prevent future flare-ups," Lavrov said in Yerevan, Armenia.
Speaking after a meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Lavrov said both countries did not support calls for alternatives to the OSCE group.
"We agree... that the troika of co-chairs should be the key coordinator in line with the mandate that was backed by the [conflicting] parties," Lavrov stressed.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.
Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.